We’ve got our first look at what lies beneath the PlayStation Classic’s retro plastic exterior. A thorough teardown reveals that the SoC used inside of the PlayStation Classic is the MediaTek MT8167A, which contains four ARM Cortex-A35 processor cores.
ARM introduced its Cortex-A35 cores based on the ARMv8 ISA as a successor to the company’s Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A7 CPUs. In addition to supporting 64-bit applications, the Cortex-A35 also uses less power than the Cortex-A7 and it is able to complete more work during each clock cycle. The Cortex-A35 has largely been overshadowed by ARM’s Cortex-A53, which launched slightly earlier and featured excellent efficiency and significantly higher performance.
Although the Cortex-35 is a relatively weak processor when compared to ARM’s other ARMv8 products, it should be more than adequate for the PlayStation Classic. As noted above, the MediaTek MT8167A has four of these cores, which are clocked at 1.5GHz. Emulating games made for the original PlayStation doesn’t require a lot of processing power, and it’s possible to emulate PlayStation games in full speed on significantly slower devices.
MediaTek also equipped the MT8167A with an Imagination PowerVR GE8300 graphics processing unit, which should offer plenty of power for emulating original PlayStation games. A metal shroud that helps protect the core hardware from damage also makes direct contact to the SoC to help keep it cool. A pair of 512MB Samsung K4B4G1646E-BYMA DDR3 RAM chips give the system a total of 1GB of RAM for use by the CPU and GPU.
Those that were hoping to mod the PlayStation Classic with additional games may be out of luck though. The PlayStation Classic uses a 16GB Samsung KLMAG1JETD eMMC NAND chip to store the console’s OS and games. The original PlayStation used 700MB CDs to distribute games, and some games such as Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid were too large to fit onto a single CD and subsequently required additional discs. In total, all 20 games on the PlayStation Classic would have been originally produced on 23 CDs.
Some games may not have needed the full 700MB of space available on each CD, but assuming they did for a moment, that works out to a full 16,100MB, which would completely fill the 16GB storage drive. If modders are able to hack the PlayStation Classic, they won’t be able to do much without removing some of the games that come standard on the system.
The PlayStation Classic is set to launch on December 3, and is currently available for pre-order for $99.99.